Friday, March 13, 2009

Repeated Game

There's a concept in economic game theory called a repeated game. The idea is, if I'm in a situation where I can screw you over to benefit myself, I might be tempted to do that. However, if I know that we're going to have repeated interactions where you might be in the position to screw me, I will likely behave differently. That's a repeated game. It's a lesson not learned well by my sister in many rounds of Monopoly, because she knew I'd NEVER be in the position to screw her over. And she was right. And we don't play that game anymore.

This also applies to McDonalds restaurants in traffic oases on the highway. Since those are rarely a repeated game experience (people don't stop in all the time - they pass through once, and stop, and keep going), the idea is that a franchisee might skimp on fries to save a buck, because it is not a repeated game. So, to maintain the integrity of the McDonalds experience, most of those are owned by corporate. Makes sense, right?

Anyways, how does this apply to me today, you ask? Well, let me tell you how. Asshat Calling called. I heard the british voice on the line and thought.. this is strikingly familiar. Particularly as I was telling this very asshat story to someone yesterday. He was front-of-mind. But, despite my anglophillic tendencies, I questioned my ability to discern on overdone posh british man's accent from another. I said I had no time at the moment, and that we could talk next week, since it was evident that he was a sales guy. And then I asked - did I ever speak with you before?  No, he replied. So I dismissed it.

I then got an email from this guy, saying that he apologized for calling me out of the blue, and that, in fact, he DID speak with me in December. I knew it! I checked the blog post date - indeed, December. Needless to say... "Delete!"

But, one has to wonder - if someone is such an assmonkey that the person on the other end of the line calls him inappropriate and threatens to hang up the phone - what would possibly make him ever call back? Why make it a repeated game?

1 comment:

Capt. BS said...

Asshat has clearly failed CRM 101: Keeping Track of Shit.